Repurposing cheese whey and sugar molasses as growth medium for the cultivation of geotrichum candidum
Cheese whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, is a potential pollutant that must not be disposed into fresh water bodies. Cheese ripening microorganisms are crucial ingredients that determine the final cheese quality, yet they are only available as imported commodities in Indonesia. Cheese whey, a rich source of amino acid, along with sugar molasses, a source of convenient carbon, are potential raw ingredients for a growth medium to cultivate cheese fungus Geotrichum candidum. Six formulas of whey-molasses media were inoculated with G. candidum, each having various carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratios over 48 and 120 hours incubation time. Biomass and pH histories were monitored every six hours over the course of fermentation. The results show that the medium whose C/N ratio was close to 5.85 yield high final biomasses due to faster growth rate and longer growth phase time. Higher C/N ratios decreased growth rate and growth phase time, however compared with control (cheese whey only), media with C/N ratio of more than 11.58 suffers lower growth. The pH of the medium increased at the point when convenient carbon was depleted, and amino acid metabolism begun. In the case of control, amino acid metabolism occurred throughout fermentation.
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